Tech Task #5 – What exactly is Digital Citizenship?

The idea of digital citizenship is somewhat new to me. Prior to taking this course I had not put much thought into the idea of digital citizenship. I really wasn’t too sure what exactly it is and I am still a little unsure of the exact definition.

Thus far, to me digital citizenship is very similar to ordinary everyday citizenship. As stated by Ashley in her blog, “Just as we have rights, expectations and laws as humans, we have these same things while using technology.” I agree with Ashley’s point and I think digital citizenship can also be seen as who you are and how you are portrayed in the digital world ( this may be seen more as your digital footprint). As tools that enable us to show, tell, create and express ourselves continue to grow it is increasingly important that we are aware of our digital citizenship. In education it is important for teachers to make sure that their students are portraying themselves positively in the digital world and also that they are using safe practices when they online. With students using and sometimes misusing things such as myspace, facebook, youtube and other mainly public sites or social networks it is important that they we don’t push them away from these but rather encourage awareness, ethics and effective use.

In my mind another important aspect of digital citizenship is filtering, questioning and contributing. It is important for not only students but all digital citizens to be able to filter through “noise” or pollution and find what they are looking for. This idea relates closely to another topic discussed in class, Media Literacy. It is important for students to question what they see, to think critically and also, just like in “everyday life”, it is important to contribute. Do not just take and take from the digital world, give back as well.

This is what digital citizenship means to me at this point in my educational career but I know that there is much more to it. I plan to dig deeper into this subject as I continue my journey to become a teacher.

I wonder if how good of a digital citizen we are will ever become more important than how good of a “real world” citizen we are? Has this already happened? I think about some of the educators that I have come across through my exploration in this course and I don’t believe I have met any of them in person so all that I have to “judge” or “perceive” them on is their online work, contributions, comments and profiles. This is a very interesting topic.

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